Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Hurricane Irene Lawyer
Promptly report the hurricane damage claim. In the immediate aftermath of a hurricane, you may not be able to get through on the phone. Send a letter or an email to your agent. If an insurance company asks you to describe the full extent of the hurricane damage- use this phrase: "AS FAR AS I KNOW AT THIS TIME, THE DAMAGE IS .... HOWEVER I AM NOT A CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONAL. I HAVE NO WAY TO KNOW THE FULL EXTENT OF POSSBLE DAMAGES. Do not underestimate, or lock yourself in. Do not guess. Early on, you truly have no idea what kind of subsequent problems even a small amount of water intrusion could cause. Structural defects may not be immediately apparent. Wait until you have all the facts. Some individuals choose to consult with a Maryland Hurricane Damage Attorney prior to meeting with adjusters or appraisers.
Review and understand the various coverages under your policy, and which ones apply to hurricane damage. Many insurance policies are intentionally written in Byzantine fashion, with the first few pages containing broad grants of hurricane coverage, and then 15 pages of "exclusions", "limitations" and lists of events not covered by the policy. In all seriousness- people undergo hours of training on how to decipher these things. Do not hesitate to ask for the help of a Maryland Hurricane Damage Attorney in assessing what coverage you have. For example- some policies will contain coverage for "ALE"- additional living expense. For example- if you had to move out temporarily due to damage, your policy may well cover your hotel and food expenses. Does your policy have this coverage?